Bob Parks | Writer & Editor | Brattleboro, Vermont


As a longtime fan of outsider technology, I write books and magazine articles about talented engineers, designers, and energy innovators who are often as peculiar as they are passionate. By "outsiders," I'm thinking of technologists who may not be formally trained in their area of interest and who may work outside typical geographic business clusters. Great things come from the outsiders, but there's a caveat: in terms of pure efficiency, it probably makes sense to convene engineers and designers with advanced degrees rather than trawling makerspaces. I like the outsiders because they never start from predominant academic and professional models or even work linearly. They surprise us, and their solutions sometimes win the day.

My work in publications started as an editor for Wired magazine, directing sections on new technologies and design. After that, I moved from the Bay Area to Vermont with my family, where I have freelanced as a long-form feature writer for Wired, Popular Science, Outside, Runner's World, Businessweek, and other publications since 2002. I also write educational materials for the STEM and STEAM fields at WGBH Education in Boston. Outside of work, I nurture my interest in storytelling by serving as president of the Brattleboro Literary Festival, a classic Vermont event that attracts top authors and thousands of visitors every year.

Home is southern Vermont, where I share an old farmhouse with my wife, son, and daughter. Our property once consisted of a large 19th-century chicken coop among outbuildings, which over the years had been carefully renovated into an attractive residence by various owners. Since we've owned it, unfortunately, our shakey DIY skills have led us to restore the home pretty much back to its original condition—chicken coop.